Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Great bustard seen after 30 years

The sighting took place in a location the birds used to frequent.

(Source: Jozef Chavko)

A great bustard, a large bird, was spotted near Bánov village near Nitrianska pahorkatina after 30 years. The great bustard had completely disappeared from Slovakia, as noted by Roman Slobodník from Raptor Protection of Slovakia.

“It is estimated that several hundred pairs used to nest in Slovakia,” said Slobodník, as quoted by the SITA newswire.

Disappearance due to changes

Drastic changes in agricultural methods, such as using chemical substances, establishing large-area monocrops and growing unsuitable crops, brought the decrease of the nesting population to a complete disappearance, added Slobodník.

Besides that, in the second half of the last century, electric networks started to cross the countryside in the flight trajectory of bustards that resulted in no known nesting of bustards since 2000.

“This beautiful bird disappeared from Žitný ostrov as well as from Nitrianska pahorkatina and other areas,” said Slobodník for SITA.

Flocks near borders

The only exception is irregular nesting in two locations in the southwest of the country, according to him. It is possible to see flocks of bustards in certain areas of the Slovak border with Austria and Hungary, mainly in the winter.

“503 bustards were counted there this year,” Slobodník related, as cited by SITA.

Observing bustards in Nitrianska pahorkatina after 30 years is very precious, according to Lucia Deutschová from Raptor Protection Slovakia. The observation spot near Bánov village is part of the Protected Bird Area Dolné Považie where bustards used to live.

“It is the perfect piece of news that may bring other measures to create conditions for the species’ return,” Deutschová said, as quoted by SITA, adding that this discovery showed that the genetic memory of birds may send them back to historical localities to check whether everything is ready for their return.

Preventive measures

Raptor Protection Slovakia, in cooperation with ZSE Energia (Western Slovak Energy), is appling measures to increase the visibility of power lines in order to protect birds from collision.

The great bustard is the heaviest flying bird in the world; the highest confirmed weight of an adult male is 22 kilograms (48.5 lbs). Bustard females are smaller, with a maximum weight of five kilograms (11 lbs). The great bustard is a grasslands non-migrating species that needs enough insects, rodents, amphibians and reptiles to raise their young.

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Top stories

Institutions can be quickly destroyed, but they are hard to build

Head of the To Dá Rozum intiative, Renáta Hall, talks about the impacts of a dispute between the academy of sciences and the Education Ministry.

Renáta Hall

Spectacular Slovakia #3: Unexpected hiking (Enjoy Bratislava's greenery) Audio

In Slovakia, you can hike in the capital city. Listen to the latest episode of our travel podcast to find out more.

The Financial Administration’s head resigns from post

František Imrecze says his decision was spontaneous.

František Imrecze

People will gather to support imprisoned Ukrainian filmmaker

The open letter in support of Sentsov has been signed by more than 2,800 people.

People hold posters to support Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who is currently on hunger strike in a Russian jail to demand the release of the other Ukrainian hostages taken by the Kremlin, in front of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Kiev on August 21, 2018.